Emergency Procedures

Guidelines for Emergency Situations

The Central New Mexico Community College Department of Security has issued a specific set of guidelines for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to follow in the event that an active shooter or a similar threat is present on any CNM campus, as well as other emergency situations.

What to Do if an Active Shooter is Present

Emergency Procedures for All Campuses

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This document contains the Emergency Procedures you need to know.

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In general, how you respond to an active shooter(s) will be dictated by the specific situation. The following information has been prepared to provide CNM students, staff, and faculty with recommended guidelines on emergency actions that can be taken in the event an armed individual enters a building and starts shooting. These guidelines are based on the practices and policies of numerous colleges and universities.

If it is possible to do so safely, exit the area immediately when you become aware of an “active shooter” moving away from the immediate path of danger, and take the following steps:

  • Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately. Do not activate a fire alarm.
  • Evacuate to a safe indoor/outdoor area away from the danger and take protective cover. If possible, go to another campus building. Stay there until assistance arrives.
  • Call (505) 224-3001 or dial 911 from any campus phone and provide the dispatcher with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Location of the incident (be as specific as possible) 
    • Numbers of shooters (if known) 
    • Identification or description of shooter(s)
    • Your exact location
    • Injuries to anyone (if known)

If you are directly involved in an incident and exiting/leaving the building is not possible, the following actions are recommended:

  • Go to the nearest room/office
  • Close and lock/barricade the door, if possible
  • Turn off the lights
  • Seek protective cover, i.e.; behind desks, tables
  • Put your cell phones on vibrate, use them only to communicate with emergency personnel
  • Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room.
  • Do not answer the door; wait for the arrival of a police officer/security officer to escort you to safety. They will identify themselves and will be clothed in police attire.
  • Call (505) 224-3001 or dial 911 and provide the dispatcher with the following information:
    • Your name 
    • Your location (be as specific as possible) 
    • Number of shooters (if known) 
    • Identification or description of the shooter(s) 
    • Number of persons who may be involved 
    • Injuries if known

Please be aware that if you are safely locked in an office or classroom, police/security officers may take some time to get to you. This is because the priority is to stop the threat. The fact that you may not hear or see officers right away could mean you are safely away from the immediate danger. Wait patiently until a uniformed law enforcement/security officer gives an all-clear. Once you are rescued, the officers will guide you to safety. If you are staged away from the incident, do not leave the area until instructed to do so by a police/security officer. They may want to interview you to obtain information.

"Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Incident" short video was produced by the City of Houston through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and can provide you with the basic information you will need to survive an attack.

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What to Expect From Responding Officers

Law enforcement officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard and engage and neutralize the shooter(s) to end the shooting as quickly as possible. The first responding officers may be in teams; they may be dressed in their police patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing specialized tactical gear (i.e. helmets, vests). The officers will be heavily armed with assault rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Do exactly as the officers instruct. Remember they are focused on stopping the active shooter and creating a safe environment.

CNM Security Officers WILL NOT enter the area without the escort of police officers. The Security Officer(s) will assist with lockdowns, evacuations (if the order is given), and crowd control and will assist EMS with the injured if applicable.

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Keeping Updated During an Emergency

If an active shooter incident develops, CNM will implement its notification system, to alert the CNM community. Timely warnings/information will be distributed as the incident progresses from the beginning until the all-clear is given. Sign-up today if you are not already receiving CNM Alerts and advisements of campus closures.

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Lockdown Procedures

A lockdown of a building and or campus is a “sheltering in place” technique utilized to limit human exposure to an apparent life-threatening, hostile, or hazardous situation on or near a CNM campus. Such a procedure exists to protect human life and property against a threatening situation involving an active shooter. A lockdown will be declared by the Security Department. You will be notified through the CNM emergency system when a lockdown is announced.

Timely warnings/information will be distributed as the incident progresses from the beginning until the all-clear is given. A modified lockdown can be called by the Security Department. This is utilized when the threat is known to be outside CNM property i.e.; police in the area looking for a violent offender with a gun, or a violent crime occurs near a campus. Building exterior doors to a building are locked by security officers. Work and pedestrian traffic may continue within the building but no one will be allowed entry or exit because the threat is of lesser concern security officers are stationed around the perimeter of the campus until notified by law enforcement of an all-clear. Security Officers will then open the exterior doors to the building(s) returning to normal status.

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What to Do During a Lockdown

  • You will be notified through the CNM Emergency Notification System, AttentionCNM.
  • Remain calm and follow instructions of law enforcement/Campus Security or the designated CNM administrative person enlisted to help.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm to notify occupants and initiate an evacuation. This may place people in danger or in the path of the shooter. If a fire alarm goes off during a lockdown, evacuate ONLY if you smell smoke. Be aware of safe alternate routes if it becomes necessary to flee.
  • Remain indoors and immediately go to the nearest room staying away from windows. Lock/barricade the door(s). Cover windows on doors that have a direct line of sight to the shooter. Do not seek shelter in open areas such as corridors and or hallways.
  • Shut the blinds or pull the shades down, Turn off the lights only if it does not darken the room.
    Put your phone on vibrate: use it only if you are in contact with emergency personnel. Do not attempt to call others/guardians. This will prevent you from receiving CNM notification messages and may cause traffic congestion from people wanting to come on campus for loved ones, preventing emergency departments from responding to the scene.
  • Do not make noise that will draw attention of the shooter to your location.
  • Do not attempt to leave until told to so by police/security.
  • If outside, hide and stay out of view as much as possible. The objective is to have no people visible. This may mean taking shelter behind a large heavy object i.e.; large tree or wall or hiding between cars in the parking lot.

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Training for CNM Faculty and Staff

General Campus Safety & Emergency Response training is available online through the Employee Training Department. You are encouraged to view the video in its entirety.

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Fire Emergencies

  • All students and employees shall be familiar with fire evacuation procedures.
  • A floor plan identifying escape routes and locations of fire extinguishers will be placed conspicuously.
  • Building Administrator will discuss fire evacuation procedures as frequently as necessary, but at least once per quarter.

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If You Discover a Fire

  • Stay calm and above all do not jeopardize your personal safety.
  • Activate the nearest fire alarm and alert students and employees in the immediate area about the fire.
  • Call the fire department at 911 if applicable.
  • Remove anyone in immediate danger.
  • Confine the fire by closing windows and doors, as much as possible.
  • Very small fires (incipient stage) can be put out with a fire extinguisher

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Evacuation Due to Fire

  • If the fire cannot be immediately contained, evacuate the facility. Consider the possibility of toxic fumes or explosions from burning materials and especially from compressed gas.
  • Stay low when moving through smoke.
  • When passing through an exit, move quickly away from the exit to avoid creating a bottleneck that slows the escape of others.
  • If you are trapped inside a room, keep the doors closed and seal any cracks with wet towels, if possible.
  • Open a window for air and call for help. Do not break the glass unless necessary (outside smoke could be drawn into the room).
  • Do not panic or jump.
  • Close as many doors between you and the fire as possible.
  • Do not reenter the building after you have exited, but proceed directly to the building's designated assembly area.
  • Follow the directions of the security officers present and the emergency personnel at the scene.
  • If someone is missing, do not attempt to reenter the building. Notify the firefighters or emergency personnel at the scene, and describe where the person was last seen.

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Tornadoes occur more frequently in the spring and early summer months, although they can occur at any time. Supervisors should pay close attention to weather reports during tornado "season" and be prepared to implement appropriate emergency procedures when notified by local authorities or the sounding of tornado sirens.

If You Are Inside

  • Proceed to a central hallway of the building, if possible.
  • If there is no time, crouch under a desk or table, away from windows or glass dividers.
  • Stay away from tall objects, such as file cabinets.

If You Are Outside

  • Seek cover in low-lying depressions away from buildings, trees, telephones, and electric lines.

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Although earthquakes do not often occur in New Mexico, they can occur anywhere. Students and employees should know the appropriate actions to take.

Earthquakes strike without warning and may range in intensity from slight tremors to major shocks. They may last only a few seconds or several minutes. After a major earthquake, "aftershocks," generally less violent, should be anticipated. The great majority of injuries experienced in earthquakes are the result of people being hit by falling objects. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to rush outside immediately, where considerable falling debris may be encountered.

If You Are Inside

  • Stay in a doorway, or crouch under a desk or table, away from windows or glass dividers.
  • Stay away from tall objects, such as file cabinets.

If You Are Outside

  • Stay away from buildings, trees, telephones, and electric lines.

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